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Review: Teach Me a Lesson by Jasmine Haynes

April 21st, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kelly under Review Tags: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Jasmine Haynes, Review, Teach Me a Lesson

Teach Me a Lesson CoverTitleTeach Me a Lesson

AuthorJasmine Haynes

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425266249 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425266243 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Kelly

Synopsis:

Do what you have to do, Principal. I deserve it…

High school guidance counselor by day, sex therapist by night, Charlotte Moore’s passion is people—whether helping students with the realities of life or helping their parents with the fantasies. Enter Principal Lance Hutton, the perfect subject for Charlotte’s method in recharging the sex drive—and it’s going to take some discipline. Considering this hot older man is her boss, it makes sense that he dole out the punishment. Besides, Charlotte’s begging for it.

But when Charlotte’s after-school extracurricular activities are made public, it threatens her job, her reputation, and the career of the man she’s falling head over heels in love with. Now, if this town wants a scandal, Charlotte and Lance are ready to give them one—and a lesson in bad behavior they’ll never forget.

Quick & Dirty: Teach Me a Lesson truly surprised me. Expecting a simple erotic read, Haynes instead delivered an emotionally complicated story about the benefits and costs of venturing into the BDSM world.

Opening Sentence: “He wants me to have sex with other men.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

As a sex therapist, Charlotte Moore’s dedication to helping her clients overcome sexual issues includes practicing what she preaches. So it’s no surprise when Charlotte decides she owes it to her clients to discover the benefits of certain BDSM acts after her best friend’s glowing recommendations. The only problem is finding a guy willing to play along with a simple, no-strings-attached teacher/student role-playing arrangement.

Enter Lance Hutton, the authoritarian principal of the local high school where Charlotte also works as a part-time guidance counselor. After all, Lance may be attractive but he’s certainly not the type of guy Charlotte normally goes for. He’s ten years older – a serious relationship deal-breaker for Charlotte. She’s fiercely independent and used to the one being in control and her experiences have proven that younger guys are more than willing to let her take the reins in the relationship. But the sexual encounters with Lance quickly morph into a complex dominant/submissive relationship that leaves both of them fighting for control.

Things get even more complicated between the two when Charlotte begins working with a troubled girl at the school. The girl’s ties to one of Charlotte’s clients from her private practice – a client who was seeing Charlotte in secret and who’s married to one of the most powerful men on the school board – puts both Lance and Charlotte’s careers on the line and stresses their relationship to the breaking point.

Teach Me a Lesson is a new level of insta-lust. Charlotte and Lance’s relationship went from barely speaking in the three years she’d worked at the school, to noticing each other sexually one afternoon, to their first sexual encounter that same day, to dominant/submissive roles two days later, to love. But the quick acceleration surprisingly increased my enjoyment of the story. Their relationship sizzled because of the instantaneous nature. Asking her no-nonsense boss for a spanking after catching him looking at her cleavage was a big risk for Charlotte. As was Lance’s quick and enthusiastic response in locking the classroom door despite his rule of never getting involved with an employee or messing around while at work. The rush of stepping outside their normal, responsible roles and subsequent addiction to the thrill of possible discovery wouldn’t have been possible if either of them had thought too long about the consequences in the beginning.

Lance and Charlotte’s sexual encounters are extremely mild as far as the world of BDSM stories – mainly role-playing and spanking – but the issue of control is still a driving force in their story. Haynes does a wonderful job translating Charlotte’s angst over the need to be in control versus the desire to be controlled. Charlotte is determined to maintain her independence and exercise her free will without having to answer to Lance outside of the bedroom (or car, or classroom or…well you get the drift). She’s the one imposing the limits on their relationship, yet she’s also bothered when Lance doesn’t show her preferential treatment when the crap hits the fan. Lance has difficulties letting go of his dominant role outside of their sexcapades. He often uses sex as a weapon to get what he wants and his inability to keep their private lives separate from their work is more than a little unsettling. Honestly, it was disturbing to go from concern over a young girl with self-esteem issues to commanding Charlotte to strip and bend over for a spanking in the same paragraph. It also perfectly highlights what I assume is an issue for a new dominant – the inability to let go of that persona when in the “real world.”

The weakest aspect of the story is the solution to the issue at the school. It’s clear Haynes didn’t put as much thought into the resolution as the rest of the story and it definitely doesn’t do her characters justice. Despite this lapse, I recommend Teach Me a Lesson to anyone who enjoys a well-written contemporary romance featuring mild BDSM scenes.

Notable Scene:

“Not even once.” She was smiling again. The Cleopatra smile. The one that brought Julius Caesar and Marc Antony to their knees before her. “But I’ve been thinking,” she said in a singularly innocent, angelic voice.

“About what?” he was compelled to ask.

“That maybe I missed out by never being spanked.”

Her brilliant green gaze mesmerized him. “Corporal punishment like spanking has been deemed to damage a child’s psyche,” he advised her.

Oh, that smile. Soon he’d be on his knees, too.

“But I’m not a child, Principal Hutton.”

“No, you most certainly are not.”

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FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Teach Me a Lesson. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Book Talk: Books that Deserve More Recognition

April 21st, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Book Talk Tags: A.G. Howard, Book Talk, Dan Wells, Emily Rodda, Partials, Splintered, The Key to rondo, Young Adult

Kaitlin talks about three different books she thinks deserves more recognition. Let us know in the comments what books you think deserve more recognition. Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube account here so you don’t miss any of our videos.

Books Featured:

  

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Early Review: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

April 20th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: Paranormal, Review, Sweet Evil Trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, Wendy Higgins, Young Adult

Sweet ReckoningTitle: Sweet Reckoning

Author: Wendy Higgins

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: The Sweet Trilogy (Book #3)

Publication Date: April 29, 2014

Format: Paperback, 464 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062265970 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062265975 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

Quick & Dirty: This was a fantastic ending to an unbelievably good series. It is full of sexy romance, heart wrenching moments, and unforgettable characters. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is a fan of young adult paranormal books.

Opening Sentence: Not a soul in the Vegas cocktail lounge had any idea demons were in their midst.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I want to start off by saying that this is the third and final book in the series. I am going to try to make it as spoiler free as possible, but I suggest that if you haven’t read the first two books (which you totally should because they are amazing) then you probably should skip this review.

The final showdown is about to begin and sweet Anna Whitt is going to be right in the middle of it. With a group of Nephilim allies, Anna plans to rid the earth of all the evil Dukes once and for all. But the Dukes know about the prophecy and they suspect that Anna is the Nephilim that will be their downfall, so they do everything in their power to try and stop her.

Anna goes on the run to protect those she loves and herself. But she’s not sure who she can trust and the danger just keeps escalating. In the prophecy it states that Anna must remain pure to will the sword of righteousness and this becomes extremely hard when the Duke of Lust sent his son Kaidan Rowe to seduce her. Anna will do anything to protect Kaidan and if his father finds out he failed in having his way with Anna, the consequences will be deadly. Anna will have to decide what and who she is willing to risk to bring down the Dukes.

I totally adored Anna from the very beginning and my love for her just grew more and more with each book. At first she is this very innocent and slightly naïve girl, but by the end of the series she becomes a force to be reckon with. She still has a heart made of gold and a very sweet personality, but she has grown a tough skin to help her cope with her situation. I really admired Anna’s inner strength and determination. She never gives up even when things look dire. Anna will forever be one of my favorite book characters and I am so glad I got to read her story.

Kaidan is seriously a sexy beast. I love his accent, his killer good looks, and just thinking about him makes my insides melt. I loved getting to see the more gentle side to Kai, because it just made him that much more irresistible. His love and devotion for Anna is beautiful and so heartwarming. The other thing I love about Kai is that he really isn’t perfect, because he is the son of lust he has been forced to do a lot of things that he really shouldn’t have. It has left scars that may never fully heal, but his broken side just makes him more endearing. Suffice to say, I am madly in love with Kai and he is one of my all time favorite book boyfriends.

Sweet Reckoning was an extraordinary ending to a spectacular series. It has killer romance, loveable characters, and great action. I will admit that the first half of the book was a little slower than I maybe would have liked, but the rest of it totally made up for it. There were a few plot twists that I wasn’t expecting, which really helped keep me interested through the whole book. I found that I couldn’t stop smiling while reading this book because there were just so many adorable moments. But there were also some heart wrenching moments that really made me sad, so there was a good balance. Higgins also does sexy times so well, giving you just enough, but not too much since this is a young adult series. The only way I can describe the ending is that it was total perfection. It had just enough info to leave me satisfied, but it also left a few things up to your imagination, which I really liked. This series is probably my all time favorite young adult paranormal series. I am so sad to see it end, but it will always be one that I will re-read many times in the future. If you haven’t read this series yet you honestly should, you will not regret it.

Notable Scene:

I kissed him one last time before rolling over and feeling his heat against my back as he reached around my waist and pulled me closer.

As I drifted to sleep, from a state of semi consciousness I heard him whisper, “You’re my dream. My only dream.”

The Sweet Trilogy:

1. Sweet Evil

2. Sweet Peril

3. Sweet Reckoning (April 29, 2014)

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Sweet Reckoning. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Preview of New Releases for this Week

April 20th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Bridget under New Releases Tags: Afterparty, Andrea Cremer, Anne Blankman, Annie Cardi, Brooklyn Skye, Chris Bohjalian, Claire LaZebnik, Clare Furniss, Daryl Gregory, Deceptions Princess, Dianne K. Salerni, Don't Call Me Baby, Esther M. Friesner, Expiration Day, Fragile Line, Golem in My Glovebox, Gwendolyn Heasley, How I Got Skinny Famous and Fell Madly In Love, Joshua McCune, Just One Night, Karina Halle, Ken Baker, Lauren Layne, Legal Briefs, Love in English, Mark Alpert, Meljean Brook, My Not So Super Sweet Life, N.M. Silber, Nicole Camden, P.J. Schnyder, Prisoner of Night and Fog, R.L. Naquin, Rachel Harris, Stacey Kade, Survive to Dawn, Talker 25, Teresa Mummert, The Chance You Won't Return, The Eighth Day, The Fetish Queen Reborn, The Furies, The Hunt, The Inventor's Secret, The Kraken King Part Two, The Last Best Kiss, The Light in the Ruins, The Year of the Rat, Torn from the Shadows, White Trash Love Song, William Campbell Powell, Yolanda Sfetsos

This is a slower week for book publications, but there are still some wonderful books coming out that I am really looking for ward to.

    

    

    

    

    

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Early Review: Thirty Sunsets by Christine Hurley Deriso

April 19th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Review Tags: Christine Hurley Deriso, Contemporary, Review, Thirty Sunsets, Young Adult

thirtysunsetsTitle: Thirty Sunsets

Author: Christine Hurley Deriso

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Format: Paperback, 240 Pages

ISBN-10: 073873991X (Flux)

ISBN-13: 978-0738739915 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

To Forrest Shepherd, getting away to the family’s beach house with her parents and her brother, Brian, is the best part of every summer. Until this year, when her mother invites Brian’s obnoxious girlfriend, Olivia, to join them. Suddenly, Forrest’s relaxing vacation becomes a mission to verify the reality of Olivia’s rumored eating disorder. But the truth behind Olivia’s finicky eating isn’t at all what Forrest expected. And over the next thirty days, Forrest’s world is turned upside down as her family’s darkest secrets begin to come to light.

Quick & Dirty: Forrest was a funny and relatable character, and although quite a few “OMG”s were scattered throughout the chapters, this was a short, enjoyable read.

Opening Sentence: “Hey, Forrest.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Forrest is not popular. She’s been stamped as the official geek, and when summer starts, she’ll finally be able to escape to the families beach house with her brother and his new girlfriend. But family secrets and surprising revelations plague the trip, along with a mysterious guy that may or may not be a complete jerk.

This was an easy book to fall into. There isn’t much action, true, but Forrest is a great main character and has a relatable point of view. (Other than the frequent “OMG”s. Not a fan of the OMGs.) She knows her family has been hiding something from her, and her rocky relationship with her brother’s girlfriend isn’t helping to calm her down. Many times, Forrest has strange nightmares that show her that something is wrong, and I didn’t enjoy these much either. Her subconscious mind produced some weird things in order to get the point across, and they just weren’t really needed. But there were definitely some pros to this book as well! For example, I loved the title. The title was relevant to the boy she meets. I’ll leave it to you to decide if he’s trustworthy, because at first it seems like it could go either way. Scott is confident, witty, and knows how to charm a girl. At one point he makes a comment about this being the first sunset of the thirty they will spend with each other, and that’s the origin of the title. By the end, Scott’s true personality will come clear. I’m not saying if he’s kind or not either, read to find out!

Now I would like to explain my feelings about the pacing and the ending. The reason this book got three stars was not because I didn’t enjoy myself or because it was badly written. It got three instead of four because of the pacing and ending. For one, the pacing was up and down, sometimes too slow, sometimes too fast. There was no in between. It made it sometimes confusing and I’d need to go back and reread a page or so. For example, the scenes that did have some action or some revealed truth were pretty quick, and the beginning of the book a little slower. The other main thing I had a problem with was the ending chapter. The epilogue was adorable, so kudos for that, but the chapter before made me roll my eyes. All of the book led up to this, and instead of twenty extra pages discussing how everything is resolved, something sudden and unexpected happens. It makes the end of the book seemed rushed and annoyed me. I wanted at least a solid chapter where things could play out more realistically, but instead I got a few pages with no thought-provoking paragraphs or unique new ideas about life or anything deep at all, to round up the story.

Altogether, however, I am glad I read Thirty Sunsets. It’s a single book with no sequel and is great for someone wanting a contemporary to lie back and enjoy for a few days before diving into something action-packed or large. A book like this is cute and can hold your attention for as long as you need to read it. Have fun!

Note: contains sensitive subjects such as rape.

Notable Scene:

“I’m sure you have plenty of people to share sunsets with.” I venture cautiously.

“Maybe. But who do I want to share my sunsets with? That’s the qustion.”

Another trick question? I honestly don’t know. So I ask him.

“Who?”

He stops in his tracks, loosely takes my hands and looks into my eyes. “you.”

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FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Thirty Sunsets. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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